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Spinach Pesto Pizza Recipe – Frugal Novice

Spinach Pesto Pizza Recipe

Brian and I love to cook, so when I was asked if I wanted to review a book on pizza I said, “Of course!”

This book was written by a monk who started making pizzas for his fellow monks as a part of Thursday night haustus. I really enjoyed reading the background of Father Dom – you get the sense of his care for others and his excitement about food. His writing style is relatable and fun to read. That makes for a good book, but a good cookbook has to have great recipes, so we decided to try one of his crust, sauce, and pizza recipes. I settled on the Spinach Pesto Pizza with pesto sauce and Italian-style crust. There were a ton of recipes that sounded really good (like the Denver Omelet pizza) that I’m sure we’ll try in the future.

The dough was easy to make, and would be a fun project to do with kids. The pesto sauce was a little bitter tasting when raw, so I was a little nervous about how this was all going to turn out. After cooking it, though, it was AMAZING. We really enjoyed it a lot (although the boys didn’t care for it) – the pesto provided a mellow flavor base and the lemon juice in it gave it a freshness. The crust was soft and chewy, and we liked it so much we decided this will be our go-to crust from now on.

If you want to make this pizza for yourself, I’m including the recipes here:

Italian Style Pizza Crust


  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups room-temperature water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • olive oil


  1. In a medium size bowl, stir to dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand for about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in salt until dissolved.
  3. About 1 cup at a time, add 3 1/2 cups of all purpose lour, mixing thoroughly each time until flour is completely incorporated.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 4 minutes; dust your palms lightly with flour as needed to keep dough manageable.
  5. Let the dough rest on the countertop, covered with a clean, dry towel, for 5 minutes, then knead for another 3 minutes, again using small amounts of flour to keep things from getting too sticky.
  6. Lightly oil the surface of the dough & place in a small, clean bowl covered with plastic wrap.
  7. Let rise in cool place for 2 hours before use, or in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Spinach Pesto Sauce


  • 4 cups washed, torn spinach leaves, stems removed, well packed
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper


  1. Place 2 cups of spinach leaves, garlic, nuts, and lemon juice in a food processor container.
  2. Cover and puree until well blended.
  3. Add remaining spinach and olive oil and blend until smooth.
  4. Fold in Romano cheese and adjust seasoning.

Spinach Pesto Pizza


  • crust (Italian style)
  • 1/3 cup spinach pesto
  • 2 thin slices of red onion, sections divided
  • 2-3 baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 oz. shredded Muenster cheese


  1. Using your fingertips, hand-stretch the dough to 8-10″ and place on a cornmeal-dusted pan.
  2. Spread pesto evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2″ border at the edge.
  3. Evenly distribute mushrooms & onion over pesto, then sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Bake at 500 degrees on a preheated stone or pan for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

I’d give this book 4 stars. The writing is fun & the recipes are spot on. I’d give it 5 stars if there were more photos of the recipes and steps throughout the process. If you’re looking for a way to inject some creativity into your pizza, I would recommend adding this book to your collection! You can find Thursday Night Pizza on Amazon.

Note: I received a copy of this book for review. All opinions in this post are honest and my own. I was not compensated monetarily for this review.


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  • Pam February 20, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I would really like to get into making homemade pizza. Great review!

    • Christi February 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      Thanks, Pam! We love having pizza night at our house, and making everything from scratch really saves money too. You’ll have to let me know if you end up trying any recipes at your house!

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    This book looks really good. I would love to add some variety to the type of pizza we make at home!

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      Jan, it IS a lot of fun to have new choices and not just make pepperoni every time! :)

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